It’s been 50 years since Paines Plough was established over a pint of Paines bitter at the Plough pub.

It’s 10 years since our magical spaceship theatre Roundabout was born.

Feels like a pretty epic, landmark year, doesn’t it?

So here it is: our celebration.

Just like the plays and the writers we have championed across our 50 years, we are hosting another Roundabout at Summerhall with a programme that blazes with laughter, fury, love and hope. They are voices you might never have heard before. They speak about the world in new ways. They hold a mirror to our relationships with ourselves and one another. We hope you love them just as much as we do.


  • NATION by Sam Ward. Presented by YESYESNONO
  • EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. Presented by Paines Plough and Second Half Productions.
  • BELLRINGERS by Daisy Hall. Presented by Atticist, Ellie Keel Productions and Hampstead Theatre, in association with the Women’s Prize for Playwriting.
  • MY MOTHER’S FUNERAL: THE SHOW by Kelly Jones. Presented by Paines Plough, Mercury Theatre, Belgrade Theatre, Landmark Theatres, and Royal & Derngate, Northampton.
  • HOW I LEARNED TO SWIM by Somebody Jones. Presented by Prentice Productions in association with Brixton House.
  • PLAYFIGHT by Julia Grogan. Presented by Grace Dickson Productions and Theatre Uncut.
  • TONES: A HIP HOP OPERA by Gerel Falconer. Presented by Wound Up Theatre.
  • VL by Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair. Presented by Francesca Moody Productions.
  • MAIN CHARACTER ENERGY by Temi Wilkey. Presented by Temi Wilkey and Bobby Harding.
  • REFUGEE! by Aisha Zia. Presented by 62 Gladstone Street, in association with Landmark Theatres and The Upsetters.
  • LATER by Paines Plough and friends.

Tickets for all shows are available to buy now from Summerhall and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

We have had many, many conversations about the landscape for new writing and new writers. A lot of them are difficult conversations, with quite a few harsh truths about the challenging environment for writers to flourish within the industry as it currently is.

But, in true Paines Plough style, we are holding on passionately to the dreams and ambitions of brilliant unheard writers that have guided us for half a century. This passion led us to Kelly Jones, a writer we met through our open submissions process in 2021. We were blown away by Kelly’s voice, which juggles so many meaty underrepresented issues with a deftness of touch, highlighting the problems of turning your loved ones into a product for cultural consumption and the serious financial inequalities and deeply embedded class issues surrounding grief.

The play will be joining our incredible Edinburgh programme, and meet audiences around the country in the Autumn, whilst also continuing with our Tour the Writer programme where we will mentor 68 writers in partnership with six theatre organisations around the country.

Whether you’re buying a ticket to one of the Roundabout shows, visiting us on tour, or donating to our 50 for 50 fundraising campaign, we warmly invite you to be part of this landmark year for Paines Plough; to celebrate the future of new writing, to laugh, cry and want to change the world with us. We want to be a part of a positive shift today and for the next 50 years.

by Sam Ward

YESYESNONO are back in the Roundabout morning slot following their 2022 Fringe hit we were promised honey! with a brand new communal storytelling show.

From award-winning writer & performer Sam Ward, Nation is the story of a nation, the story of an audience, the story of a town. It’s a normal sort of town. It’s a lovely sort of town. The sort of town where nothing terrible ever happens, where nobody gets hit on the head with hammers and there aren’t bodies buried underneath the swimming pool. It’s that sort of town. The sort of town you’re imagining right now. That’s the sort of town it is.

A detective thriller and a sprint through history; Nation is a deep-dive into nationhood, violence, belonging and what happens when a group of people sit in the same room and all try to imagine the same thing.


Every Brilliant Thing
by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe

Ten years on from the play’s debut, a new production of the smash-hit comes to Roundabout, directed by Duncan Macmillan and performed by Jonny Donahoe.

You’re seven years old. Mum’s in hospital. She finds it hard to be happy. So you make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything worth living for.

  1. Ice cream.
  2. Water fights.
  3. Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV.
  4. The colour yellow.
  5. Rollercoasters.
  6. People falling over.

A play about depression and the lengths we go to for those we love.

A Paines Plough and Second Half Productions production


by Daisy Hall

Multi-award-winning Ellie Keel Productions (The Stage Producer of the Year 2024) and Atticist return to Edinburgh Fringe in a co-production with Hampstead Theatre, with a sublime finalist from the Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2024. Bellringers is the debut play by Daisy Hall and sees the companies return to Roundabout following the success of SAP (2022), Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz, and The Last Show Before We Die (2023).

The mushrooms are encroaching, fish are falling from the sky, and in a bell tower Clement and Aspinall are waiting for lightning to strike. Superstition says that the ringing of church bells can dispel a storm. When it feels like the apocalypse is here, anything is worth a shot.

Atticist, Ellie Keel Productions and Hampstead Theatre in association with the Women’s Prize for Playwriting.


My Mother’s Funeral: The Show
by Kelly Jones

Abigail’s mum is dead. But it turns out she can’t afford her to be.

Did you know how expensive it is to die? It’s £4000 for the funeral. Extra for flowers. And even more if you want sausage rolls. Otherwise, she will get a council funeral and an unmarked grave.

Then, when a theatre suddenly pulls out of Abigail’s new project, she is asked to write about something else. Something more raw, from her ‘unique working class lens.’ Something that will make the audience feel really, really bad about themselves. Audiences like that, apparently.

Yep. To afford the funeral, she has to write about her mum.

With power and playfulness, Kelly Jones’s new play tackles the inequalities around death, and the cost of turning your loved ones into art.

A Paines Plough, Mercury Theatre, Belgrade Theatre, Landmark Theatres, and Royal & Derngate, Northampton co-production.



How I Learned to Swim
by Somebody Jones

Directed by Emma Jude Harris
A Women’s Prize for Playwriting Finalist 2021

Jamie can’t swim. Bit awkward when you’re 30. Fuelled by guilt and a need to mend her broken family, Jamie is taking on her biggest fear. The ocean. With the help of a chipper swim instructor, a shady spiritual guide and one cathartic crab sandwich, she’s questioning, ‘How many lengths does it take to wash away regret?’

Brilliantly witty, deeply heartfelt, this play explores what lies beneath the surface of Black people’s relationship to water.

Tony Craze Award-winner and Paines Plough Playwriting Fellow, Somebody Jones’ searing debut is “funny with fear, liberating with grief” (Fringe Review) and impossible to walk away from unchanged.

Prentice Productions in association with Brixton House.


by Julia Grogan

Directed by Emma Callander
Winner of the ETPEP award

Multi Fringe First-winning team Julia Grogan (Gunter), Emma Callander (Theatre Uncut) and Grace Dickson Productions (Lady Dealer) present Playfight, shining a vivid light on adolescent desire in a landscape of rising sexual violence.

No one likes crusty knickers and a broken heart. But that’s just life, isn’t it? Three friends grow up under an ancient tree. They’re filthy, brutal and full of hope. By turns hysterical and poignant, Playfight is a searing probe of their inner lives as they hunt for love. Proper, ugly love. As their roots sink deeper, the branches stretch higher… so they decide to climb.

Grace Dickson Productions and Theatre Uncut


Tones: A Hip Hop Opera
by Gerel Falconer

A man in a battle with his identity, and on a journey through the depths of Black-British culture, class and belonging.

What happens if you’re not black enough for the ends, but too black for the rest of the world?

Tones combines the gritty underground sounds of hip-hop, grime and drill with the melodrama of opera to present a piece of gig theatre like no other, as Jerome, aka The Professor, navigates his way through a treacherous path to self-discovery.

Presented by Wound Up Theatre


by Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair

Directed by Orla O’Loughlin.

The producers of Fleabag, Baby Reindeer (Roundabout ‘19) and Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder! (Roundabout ‘22) return to Paines Plough’s Roundabout with another raucous and riotous comedy from the Fringe First Award-winning writers of Square Go, about young boys trying to navigate love, romance and status in a chaotic hormonal pressure cooker.

Max and Stevie are just two wee guys trying to survive in an ordinary Scottish secondary school. But to survive, sometimes you need to hide. And there’s no hiding when you’re a VL. VL = Virgin Lips. It means you’ve never kissed a lassie, or a laddie.

The longer you stay a VL, the more of a VL you become.

Presented by Francesca Moody Productions


Main Character Energy
by Temi Wilkey

Directed by Ragevan Vasan
Stage Debut Award: Best Writer for The High Table (Bush Theatre)

This is Temi’s show. It’s all about her. Not you. Her. Temi got veeeery good at being everybody’s sassy best friend. Growing up a black girl in a white world shunts you into playing a side character in your own life. But now she’s stepping into her Main Character Energy and it’s your privilege and pleasure to give her all the attention she deserves.

As self-aware as it is self-indulgent, this show is a high-energy cocktail of comedy, audience interaction and cabaret. An excuse to show Edinburgh how radiant Temi is.

Presented by Temi Wilkey and Bobby Harding


by Aisha Zia


Set on an ancient burial ground where the UK is now a crime scene, Refugee! tells the story of four characters in search of belonging. Under the rubble they find evidence of hope and humanity, as well as traces of violence and despair, and our own government’s complicity in war crimes.

A live, immersive and community-based experience, with comedy, dance and music. This will be an archive for future generations; to collect, to document, we are all here as witnesses.

62 Gladstone Street, in association with Landmark Theatres and The Upsetters



LATER is back… Paines Plough’s late-night roster of one-off performances. Take a lucky dip on an £8 ticket, and you’ll get a show from one of the hottest companies and artists at the Fringe. Bring your drinks in and round off your day in the best way.